BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — State Sen. Fred Akshar (R-52) announced Thursday that he will run for Broome County sheriff in 2022.
In a statement, Akshar said he wanted to be transparent with constituents about his plans for the future.
“My desire to serve has always been based around making the lives of the people of this community better,” said Akshar. “When Sheriff Harder announced his plans to retire at the end of his term, I searched my heart, we prayed, Jessica and I discussed this transition and we knew that this was an opportunity for me to better serve my community right here at home.”
“Jessica” refers to Akshar’s wife.
The legislator represents parts of Broome, Chenango, Tioga and Delaware counties. He first ran for the state senate in the 2015 special election after it was left vacant by Republican Tom Libous, who was removed from the seat when he was found guilty of lying to the FBI.
Before that, Akshar was Broome County’s Undersheriff.
He was re-elected to the state senate seat three times; in 2016, 2018 and 2020.
In April, the Republican attended a public safety roundtable at the Broome County Sheriff’s Office. When asked if he would consider running for the position, he said he would leave politics for another time.
“The sheriff has served this community with a great deal of dedication and someone that I hold in the very, very highest regard,” Akshar said. “I will continue to keep my focus on the people of the 52nd Senate District.”
At the event, Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt said, as far as he’s concerned, he would not let Akshar go anywhere.
Just over a month later, Akshar announced his candidacy.
Among those present on Thursday were New York Assemblyman Joe Angelino (R-122), Binghamton Mayor Rich David, Binghamton Police Chief Joe Zikuski and chair of the Broome County Legislature Dan Reynolds.
Akshar has also been endorsed by several members of the Broome County Legislature and town supervisors for several communities in Broome County.
Sheriffs for Tioga, Chenango and Delaware counties each released statements of support for Akshar.
As an elected official, Akshar has frequently defended law enforcement. When speaking at a Back the Blue rally last summer, Akshar said candidates for public office cannot ride on the fence when it comes to supporting law enforcement.
“Having a conversation about inequities or injustices is not mutually exclusive from supporting the men and women of law enforcement,” Akshar said.
Akshar said he will serve the 52nd Senate District to the fullest capacity until the end of his term.